Reviews and Festivals
"Highly Recommended. Offers a compelling counterpoint that shows all that immigration gives us as a society: it enriches--it doesn't devalue our communities... Shows the real and significant impact of political and legal decisions on individual lives... This film is a persuasive argument for embracing new ways (and neighbors)."
— Educational Media Reviews Online
"Those studying the economic impacts of refugees on their host states will find a cornucopia of useful information in this educational documentary. Recommended."
— Video Librarian
"Anyone surprised that refugees helped resuscitate a long-declining institution should add Utica: The Last Refuge to their post-Oscars watch list... Utica: The Last Refuge serves as a potent reminder that the shining accomplishments of stars like [Hong] Chau and [Ke Huy] Quan belong to a much larger constellation of impressive accomplishments from refugees."
— Times Union
"Everything in this film — the slices of everyday life, the intimacy — details a people and a community who found each other and together gained salvation. I am proud to say it is my community, and I have never before seen it captured so perfectly."
— John Zogby, Public Opinion Pollster and Author, native Utican
"An inspiring and urgent documentary that shows how refugees revitalized a dying industrial city."
— David Ansen, Lead Programmer, Palm Springs Film Festival
"If you feel like watching a film that leaves you with an increased faith in humanity, Utica: The Last Refuge is it!"
— Camilla Nielsson, Director of the films Democrats and President
"FANTASTIC! Everything about the movie, especially the story, is great... I hope to see the film reaching national and international audiences."
— Getachew Beshir, Catholic Charities Family and Community Services in Rochester
"This documentary humanely illustrates the magic of resettlement that happens in local communities across America on a daily basis. It's important for every person in this country to see how resettlement works, and how it changes everyone involved for the better."
— Trinh Truong, Research Assistant, Center for American Progress
"Gives such a kind of a vivid portrait of the ways in which a neighborhood can really resuscitate itself... I found this to be an honest and hopeful film. It takes the viewer into the heart of one of the most pressing and significant debates of our time: how, why, and for whom are our communities changing, and what do we owe one another through that process?"
— Pablo Bose, Associate Professor in Department of Geography, University of Vermont
"Highlights the work of agencies that help in resettlement, and the positive impact on Utica's economy."
— UN Association of Rochester
"Demonstrates Utica's resilience and commitment to these vulnerable families, who are, in turn, essential to the city's rebirth."
— Portland Film Festival
Palm Springs International Film Festival